Images of Cradley from old Photographs.
Cradley Links thanks Linda Lamberg (nee Holland) for permission to display this and two other photographs given to her by her uncle, Ralph Twigg, of Cradley. The stormy skyline of Cradley is dominated by the the distinctive tower of St. Peter's parish church. This dates from the first restoration scheme that took place in 1874-5. In his "A Short History of Cradley Chapel", Frank Stevens refers to "the imposing Tower and land-mark, which gave some measure of dignity and support to the old round Church". A second restoration in 1933 was needed to repair damage caused by by mining subsidence. The Tower was leaning by some 16 inches, and the turret was removed from the top as part of the repairs. The turret was known locally as "the pepperpot".
This house, which looks to be late 17th or early 18th century, was demolished in the late 1950s. Demolition work at New Street and Victoria Street followed in the early sixties, and later at Little Hill. We see, where New Street joins Victoria Street and to the right in the skyline, the roofs of Little Hill, and the spire of the Wesleyan Methodist Church (demolished 24 June 1999) at the bottom of the High Street, near its junction with Lyde Green. The main building shown in the photograph was just a bit further along from the reservoir, by the brick and tile works. It has been suggested that this house was known as the "manor house" but another tradition has it that this was much higher up the hill, near the Baptist Chapel in Blue Ball Lane. Any further information will be welcomed. --- our thanks to Linda Lamberg for this image and to Glen Billingham for his help with the description.
Postcard (as yet undated) of the original "Fatherless Barn", with the Clent Hills in the background, sent by A. E. Goode to a Mr. C. C. Uphill of Estoril, Dorchester, Dorset. Today's Fatherless Barn estate was built for Halesowen Council in the early 1950's, presumably as soon as the wartime scarcity of building materials ended, and Caslon School was opened in 1953 to serve the new estate. --- our thanks to Dave Vickers for this image
This view of Cradley from approx. 1904-1910 was sent to J Sedgley in Cleveland, USA. On the rear is written "Dr J..... I am sending this to you, use it if you care to. It is a landscape and birds eye view of Cradley. It shows the village the church and the Wesleyan Chapel, Griffin's Chain works the goods station the road to Quarry Bank and the white streak is new pool down Homer Hill colliery is in the right hand corner a good glass shows the details. Yours D S." --- our thanks to Dave Vickers for this image
A view down Drews Holloway, part of the main A456 road from Cradley to Halesowen, bending to the right at the junction with Colman Hill, taken in the early 1920s. The young girl in the doorway of 'Hillcrest' looks as if she might be waving to the photographer. Does anyone recognise the type of motor car? Hillcrest was built in about 1900 for the chain manufacturer Frank Sykes and was later owned by Alf Ryland, a Cradley Heath manufacturer, and finally by the Blackwell family. In 1964 it was demolished to make way for the proposed A456 relief road, a fate it shared, tragically, with Park House in Colley Gate. Park House dated back to the sixteenth century, with further additions in the 1680s, and was demolished in the 1970s. The road proposals were abandoned, but not before this unnecessary destruction. --- our thanks to Dave Vickers for this image
The Stour in flood at Lodge Forge, with Little Hill in the background (undated). The river flooded quite often, and on one occasion (not necessarily this one) the County Express of 9 May 1908 stated: "In common with other localities on the banks of the Stour, Cradley Forge district suffered from Sunday's flood. The Stour rose to such a height that by Lodge Forge Inn the road was submerged. The flood invaded the Warm Pool and all the traffic was stopped. Rising above a four foot wall, the water flooded the works of Messrs. F. Hipkiss & Co. and on Wednesday work had been resumed. The yards of some of the low-lying houses were invaded by the waters, the flood reaching to the doorsteps of the houses." --- our thanks to Jill Guest for this image